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The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Protected Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Sanitation Platform Drying In The Frame
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Spring Protection Construction
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Laying The Foundation
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Doreen Okumu
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Handwahsing Training
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Group Picture After Learning About Sanitation Platforms For Latrines
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Water Point Of Okumu Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Water Containers Scattered At A Compound In The Community
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Storage Of Water
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Sample Latrine
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Sample Household
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Mud Walled Latrine
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Filling Smaller Container With Water At Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Fetching Water At Okumu Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Dunking Jerrycan Into Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Drying Cloths On The Ground
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Dish Drying Rack
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Cows Grazing At An Open Field
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Community Members Carrying Water From The Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Bathroom Made From Dry Maize Stalks

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Sep 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Okumu Spring is located in Mukhangu Village of Kakamega County. A normal day in this community begins when community members wake up very early in the morning and proceed to the farm.

This region grows sugarcane as a major cash crop. For a number of years, people in this region made a lot of money from sugarcane. They were paid for each cane harvest. Some men disappeared once the check was cashed and would come back when the money was finished. Others took on mistresses. The region is currently among the leading places in terms of HIV and AIDS infection and transmission.

Recently, the sugar sector suffers from instability. At the moment the sugarcane no longer fetches farmers the money it did sometime back. This has given birth to a population of HIV victims who cannot meet their basic needs, widows and a lot of orphans who swim in poverty.

A good meal is the subject of prayers, decent clothes are a thing of the past, and a good education is just a dream. The only thing they have is hope that one day things may change.

The Spring

More than 200 people from the local community use Okumu Spring for water. This spring serves the community and two nearby private primary schools. It has been there since time in memorial. It is viable and high yielding.

The source is very contaminated since it is open to pollution from nearby farms, improper waste disposal, and open defecation.

Most people reported having contracted waterborne diseases as a result of consuming the water from the unprotected source.

“Since I got married to this village at the age of 19 years, we have been using this dirty and unsafe water for consumption. Quite a good number have suffered due to consuming water from the spring and succumb to premature deaths,” Mrs. Doreen Okumu, a local farmer, said.

Just like other communities, they use a smaller container to feed a bigger container which is cumbersome and time-consuming. They use plastic containers without covers to fetch the water. Most families store water in the plastic containers or pots that are kept in the backyard.

We also assessed the state of sanitation and hygiene in the community. We found that fewer than half of households have latrines.  The existing latrines are in pathetic condition and hazardous to the user.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed. Handwashing will also be a big topic.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrine floors.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families chosen for sanitation platforms must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. With the community’s high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.


This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates


09/04/2018: Mukhangu Community Project Complete

Mukhangu Community is celebrating their new protected spring, so celebrate with them! Okumu Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been done on sanitation and hygiene.

New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was organized by the village elder. He moved from one door to the next to inform his community about the plans. Training ended up drawing 13 participants out of whom 4 were male and 9 were female. The session began later because most participants were busy on their farms harvesting maize. But once they made it to the venue site, they were more than eager to hear the training content.

A man helps the trainer by pinning up pictures of good and bad hygiene practices.

This was a unique group, with many of the participants really embracing change. They participated so openly and explained how they do their daily chores. The majority confessed that they didn’t know anything about what we were teaching.

We covered several topics including leadership and governance (participants started a water and sanitation committee); operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

Everyone was eager to try out the handwashing process they learned.

Participants got excited each time we demonstrated a practice, such as handwashing. Everyone wanted to get up and take part in these so that they could get practice and direct feedback from the trainer. They also enjoyed the sessions on community development and leadership. They want to see their community not only come together to safeguard Okumu Spring but to tackle other development activities as well. Each member of the newly formed committee promised to recruit more members that share this vision.

“The information received during training is going to really improve the health status of many people. Most of the information shared was new and transformative,” said Mrs. Doreen Okumu.

“I am glad that my life and the lives of my children are going to improve.”

Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and make wonderful, easy to clean latrine floors. These five families are happy about this milestone of having a private latrine of their own and are optimistic that people will no longer leave waste outdoors. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

As the wing walls and headwall cured, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This protects the concrete from the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the headwall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. The concrete dried over the course of two weeks The water and sanitation committee has already worked with the community to plant grass and build a fence to protect the spring.

Fridah married Mr. Okumu in the late sixties and has been fetching water from Okumu Spring ever since. She admitted that she has been drinking contaminated water ever since she joined this community. During her stay here, she witnessed many cases of waterborne diseases as a result of drinking dirty water.

She told us that at one point she had to stop drinking water completely and only drink hot tea whenever she was thirsty. She counts herself lucky to be among those who are now able to access safe and clean water.

She could not hide her joy and she witnessed the water flowing from the discharge pipe. Fridah is just one among many community members who now have access to clean and safe water from Okumu Spring!


The Water Project : 20-kenya18129-protected-spring


08/07/2018: Mukhangu Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Okumu Spring is making people in Mukhangu Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we have begun installing a clean water point – and much more!

Get to know your community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news soon.


The Water Project : kenya18129-filling-smaller-container-with-water-at-spring


Project Photos


Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!



Contributors

Imago Dei Community